Lynley books

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27 Apr 2012 10:15 #1109394636 by LynnGwyneth
Replied by LynnGwyneth on topic Re: Lynley books
[warning: SPOILER ALERT -- DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS!!!]

I had an odd reaction while reading the books: I couldn't imagine Nat playing Lynley in the books, but I could imagine him playing Simon St. James (wearing blue contact lenses, LOL).

In the series, I can't imagine anyone BUT Nat playing Lynley -- the casting seems like a perfect fit. And, of course, I saw the series before I started reading the books.

After reading the books (well, I am up to "Deception On His Mind" now), I have more of an appreciation of the complex relationship between Tommy and Helen and this helps me make sense and "fill in the gaps" which left me so confused in the TV series.

After reading the description of Lady Helen Clyde in the books, I think that Leslie Vickerage was the perfect actress to play Helen. The first Helen, Emma Fielding, was perfect for the role of Deborah St. James -- in terms of looks, with her flowing red hair.

In a way, I almost wish the series had been able to keep Simon St. James and Deborah in the picture. But I can also well understand that it would have taken the plots too long to develop, making the characters' relationships too complex for such a relatively short period of time.

Still, it was interesting to see what a "bad boy" Tommy Lynley was in the books. Quite a far cry from the upright gentleman we see in the series!

I found it interesting that Elizabeth George had her two main characters have such different appearances: Tommy Lynley with blond hair and dark brown eyes; Simon St. James with black hair and blue/grey eyes. I'm used to the coloring being the opposite -- blond hair with blue eyes and black hair with dark brown eyes! Still, what strikingly handsome men she describes!

I feel a lot more warmth towards Helen in the books, she is so much more consistent and humane in her treatment of Tommy -- AND his womanizing, his need to dominate her, his demons, his anger, are filled out more completely so that her jitters about marriage come across not as neuroses, but as common sense!

What do you think?

πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα

Ἀρχίλοχος (c. 680 BC - c. 645 BC)

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27 Apr 2012 21:51 #1109394639 by inspector
Replied by inspector on topic Re: Lynley books
Hi Lynn :) ,
contrary to you I first read the books before I saw "A Great Deliverance". At first I could not imagine to become a fan of Nat as IL. It changed... Reading a book now I ignore EG's description because now Nat is IL - Sorry EG!
Regarding Helen I never accepted Leslie Vickerage. Despite her red hair Emma Fielding was the best Helen in the series for me. I agree, she also would be a perfect Deborah.
:) :) :)

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27 Apr 2012 23:26 #1109394641 by LynnGwyneth
Replied by LynnGwyneth on topic Re: Lynley books
Hi, Claudia, :)

Yes, I agree with you that the book Lynley is so incredibly different than the series Lynley. I wonder if the series makeup designer ever considered bleaching Nat's hair and eyebrows to match the blond Lynley of the books? :evil:

LOL, something to think about... ;)

Re: Helen, yes, I just think that character was mishandled in the series, now that I've read the books. I liked Leslie Vickers as an actress. She could play the tender scenes very well with Nat, and, according to things I've read here in his comments and press clips, the two actors worked well together and liked each other.

I still maintain that Helen's character was written to be much too neurotic and whiny in the first and second seasons. After she and Tommy became engaged, more of her tenderness came through in the script, while Tommy was written as being very curt and cutting towards her. This was a 180 degree turnaround from the passionate, loving man from "Missing Joseph" and "In the Presence of the Enemy", both of which had Tommy give incredibly moving speeches about the power of love to conquer fear to Helen.

So I blame character continuity in the scripts rather than the actors -- :) I'm not saying that you're wrong! :) It's just, "you say to-MAY-to and I say to-MAH-to..." ;)

Actually, come to think of it, if I could cast anyone as Helen, it would probably be Helena Bonham-Carter with straightened, brandy-colored dyed hair cut shoulder length. I think she has that quality of tenderness, vivacity, and sparkle that the Helen in the books had. She also gives off that quality of intelligence which Lady Helen had as well.

What thinkest thou? :) :D :)

πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα

Ἀρχίλοχος (c. 680 BC - c. 645 BC)

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01 May 2012 18:33 - 06 May 2012 18:46 #1109394660 by rose4asmile
Replied by rose4asmile on topic Re: Lynley books
Hi everyone,

something has been troubling me for quite some time now. Here is what I mean:
I've seen all the Lynley episodes. I've then started to read the books - beginning with Careless in Red, This Body of Death, Believing the Lie. Right now I am into For the sake of Elena.
It's not the fact the films in parts are very loosely going by the novels. What makes me "mad" at times is the way Barbara Havers as a person is described in the books. Up to now I sometimes found myself thinking, that noone can be that unattractive or ugly even. Has anyone noticed that as well or is it just me? I realize of course, that Barbara Havers as character is very well written and rounded, so it's not that either. Actually I like her very much and Lynley would not be Lynley without Havers.
Thanks for your insights to this!

Bye now, Roswitha

Be pleasant no matter how much it hurts because there is an order to all things!
Last edit: 06 May 2012 18:46 by rose4asmile.

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02 May 2012 02:12 #1109394662 by LynnGwyneth
Replied by LynnGwyneth on topic Re: Lynley books
Hello Roswitha! :) :D :)

(Spoiler request: I haven't read anything after Deception on His Mind so please don't let me know anything that happens after that novel, ok? :) )

My best friend in High School had a glandular condition. She was brilliant mentally but was very small and looked as if you took a "normal sized" girl by the neck and ankles and somehow squeezed her together. She wasn't a dwarf, but just very, very short and stocky -- fat. I know how much the poor dear heart dieted but nothing helped -- at one point she was only eating a one carrot, one egg white, and one slice of toast a day, but none of the weight budged off her body.

Her face was squeezed together too. She had beautiful blue eyes, but they were hidden by too-thick brows of black, and her thick black hair was very beautiful but never cut in a flattering style for her square face. I think of "M." when I think of Barbara Havers. I am just happy that my friend never smoked -- she was so desperate to lose weight, but she was just built like a sturdy little person -- heavy thick bones and stocky compact body. She was about 5 feet tall.

I too, was surprised to read Havers' description in the books. I'm so used to thinking of beautiful Sharon Small playing the role (and if you've ever seen her in "Mistresses" you'll know what I mean by beautiful!) Even with minimal makeup and a bad haircut, Havers in the series looks feminine and pretty -- especially in "A Suitable Vengeance" when she dons the simple black dress to come down for dinner.

The Havers described in the book series (if she were in the TV series) would probably wear a Hawaiian shirt, plaid skirt, and her signature red high-topped trainers!

But I agree, Roswitha, I found myself wondering *why* the Barbara of the books goes out of her way to appear unattractive to men. Some men like "curvy" women -- in fact most prefer them to the bone-stick-thin supermodels if surveys are to be trusted. And while Barbara (of the books) could watch her diet, exercise, give up smoking, get a better haircut for her mouse-blonde hair (and maybe a coloring), and get a personal shopper for an hour to help her pick out a better wardrobe of clothes, I guess we're supposed to just love her as she is! :) :D :)

(As Lady Helen, St. James, Deborah, and, perhaps Lynley himself, do!)

Hugs,
Lynn

πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα

Ἀρχίλοχος (c. 680 BC - c. 645 BC)

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04 May 2012 17:59 #1109394664 by rose4asmile
Replied by rose4asmile on topic Re: Lynley books
Hi Lynn,

I will not give anything away from the last three Lynley-novels. But there is the one, I have to say, that nearly killed me at times while reading it. I guess, when you come to it you will find that out.

As for Barbara Havers: I really do love the character both in the books and on TV and yes, I've seen Sharon Small in Mistresses and I completely agree with you.
And I know, that Lynley and Helen and everyone else loves Barbara just the way she is. This becomes quite obvious almost from the first novel on.

Anything else you mentioned wasn't quite what I meant. I grew up with a girl in the neighbourhood with Down Syndrom. I never considered her being ugly. That's just the way she was and still is. What I meant is, that we all have certain things we don't like and complain about when we look in the mirror. Some of us have two or maybe three different ones. But Barbara in the books has them all and even a few more and that seems to me is just too much. That's something that's almost not possible. Everyone has features and spots which can and should be shown.

Well ...

Bye for now
Roswitha

Be pleasant no matter how much it hurts because there is an order to all things!

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